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MAHONING COUNTY FLOODING Leaders, officials discuss damage



Published: Thu, September 23, 2004 @ 12:00 a.m.



FEMA officials provided an overview of how damage would be categorized.

By MARALINE KUBIK

VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

BOARDMAN -- Government leaders from throughout Mahoning County met with federal and state emergency management agency officials to begin assessing damage caused by rain and flooding earlier this month.

Information and photos gathered during the Wednesday meeting regarding damage of government buildings, public infrastructure such as roads, bridges, culverts, water systems and sewage treatment plants, and nonprofit organizations could prompt the federal government to declare Mahoning County a disaster area, paving the way for financial assistance.

Officials were not collecting information regarding damage to private homes and businesses, explained Walter Duzzny, executive director, Mahoning County Emergency Management Agency. If the county is declared a disaster area, he said, then a toll-free phone number would be provided for residents who sustained damage to file claims.

An overview

Federal Emergency Management Agency officials provided an overview of how damage would be categorized and tallied -- overtime-paid street workers to clean up after the floods Sept. 8-9, for example -- and then conducted one-on-one interviews with individuals representing a variety of Mahoning County communities and organizations.

Among those in attendance were representatives from Austintown, Boardman, Campbell, Lowellville, Poland, Struthers, Youngstown, Mahoning County, Mill Creek Metroparks and the Soil and Water Conservation District.

Mahoning County commissioners will meet Oct. 7 to appoint representatives from communities and organizations from throughout the county to a task force that will develop a comprehensive countywide plan to eliminate flooding problems, Duzzny said.

The 20- to 25-member task force will identify priorities and, hopefully, deadlines for completing and implementing the plan.

kubik@vindy.com




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